Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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The screen says f 21

The screen says f21

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  • deanna_herbe Jan 30, 2009

    what do i do

  • deanna_herbe Jan 30, 2009

    how do i fix this?????

  • svaerewyck Feb 24, 2009

    I followed these instructions but it did not work. It started up at first but soon went back to F21 error. I do not have anything cloging it that I can see or that has washed out. What is the next step?

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F21 error means the drain pump is not working correct. This is normally from hair, change, sock or something clogging the pump.

Here is one guy account on how to repair it. Enjoy.

When my F21 showed up, the washer would not do anything. It would turn on, two relays clicked, it would then HUM. I am guessing that this washer is SMART. It will test if the washer water exit pump will indeed pump. The machine figures, if it can't pump water out, there is no use in filling and starting up in the first place, so it plays DEAD and flashes the F21 code. If it will not pump, then it will not spin or do anything. If the pump will not spin, then the machine will NOT start the cycle and allow water to come on or spin. It will just HUM and finally, it will flash the F21 and the machine will just sit there. Unplugging it and plugging it back in will not help. Why does the pump not spin? As others have noted, it is probably impacted with debris. Ours had a huge hairball in it from washing a piece of carpet MONTHS ago.

Objective: Clear pump of debris. Tilt machine. Take off front panel. Unscrew large white drain plug. Remove debris.

First, unplug the machine and turn off the water supplies on the hot and cold.

Here is how I pulled out the hairball. The machine is full of water. The objective is to not mess with the water. So, pull the whole machine forward about 3 to 4 feet. Then, tilt the machine back, so that the top of the machine is hitting the wall and the machine is now at a 45 degree angle. This raises the front bottom of the machine where you can get to it. Have an assistant hold the machine there, even though it will balance perfectly, it can fall on you. You are leaning it back to gain access to (3) quarter inch screws holding on the front cover at the very bottom of the front cover and you avoid taking the machine out of the plastic pan.

Once the machine is tilted back, take out the 3 metal pan head self taping screws with a 1/4 inch socket. The front bottom panel will come right down. On the right is a large knob on one side of the pump about 1.5 to 2" in diameter. Turn this Counter clock wise slowly as you are moving an O ring which seals it. About three or four turns and it comes out. Remove all the junk in there - pennies, hair, wool.
Now, put the cover back on. Note - it is keyed. Match the ridge on the plug with the slot on the receiver. Now, push it in gently while turning clockwise. Be careful to push it in firmly but not harshly as there is an "O" ring sealing it against leaks and you don't want to nick the O ring. Put the front cover back on by first putting the top of the cover into the slots with the pins protruding from the front cover on the the receiving holes on the machine below the round door and then securing the bottom of the front access door with the three self taping screws with the 1/4 inch socket. No not over tighten. Just make them snug.

Let the machine down gently, realize it can slam down on your foot.

Push it back to where it was, use the dryer as an example.
Plug the machine back in. Turn on the water supplies for hot and cold.

Now, put the machine back onto the wash cycle. Press power and start. It will first drain out the old water. Now, add the HE detergent and your load will finish as normal.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009

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